Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pork Cutlets with Pear and Maple Sauce

I know that the tradtion is to serve Apple Sauce with pork dishes especially Roast Pork but pears are becoming a very popular replacement. 

Many recipes have roasted pears, using the nice Beurré Bosc pears which become very soft and creamy flavoured when roasted.  I saw this recipe which combined pears, maple syrup and fresh thyme and was immediately excited by the thought of combining all three flavours - three of my favourite flavours.
The pork cutlets, were easy to cook so the hero of the dish was the Pear and Maple Sauce.  And a hero it was... tasty and also very easy to make.  The recipe called for the sauce to be blended at the end of the cooking time but I was impressed with the chunky rustic look and left it that way.

Pork Cutlets with Pear and Maple Sauce
(Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers Cook The Classics Cookbook)
Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 8
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3 pears, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup chicken stock
cooking spray
4 x 150 gram pork cutlets, fat trimmed
4 carrots, cut into batons
2 cups frozen peas
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and thyme leaves and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.  Add pears, maple syrup and stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until pears have softened.  If desired, process pear mixture in a food processor until smooth.
Lightly spray a large non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and heat over a medium heat.  Cook pork for 5 minutes each side or until browned and cooked through.  Remove from pan and allow to rest.
Meanwhile, boil, steam or microwave peas and carrots until tender.  Drain.  Serve pork with carrots, peas and pear sauce.  Add an addition 3 propoints if served with a medium baked potato.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tomato and Chilli Jam

I really enjoy Chilli Jam, especially served with a nice juicy steak!!  As I mentioned we have been having some really enjoyable steak recently so I thought I would try my hand at making my own chilli jam.
Variations of this relish are numerous, some actually resembling jelly and others being more relish like.  I love The Gourmet Sauce Company's Chilli Jam which is relish like and would buy jars of it every time I went to Tasmania with work.
I came across this recipe on Taste.com and it looked basic enough to experiment with.  To my surprise it was nice. Slightly sweet but a nice consistency however I woulf prefer more of a chilli kick so next time I am thinking that I would add one small bullet chilli also.


Tomato and Chilli Jam
(recipe sourced from Taste.com)
Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 2
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 long red chillies, finely chopped
400 gram can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons fish sauce

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chilli. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened.

Add tomato, sugar, vinegar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low.

Simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture has thickened.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Creamy Potato and Bacon Bake

We have been buying some really nice pieces of steak of late so nothing better than it being chargrilled and served with some yummy accompaniments. 
Potato Bakes, are a perfect side dish, one that so many people enjoy.  There are many variations, one of our favourites is a non creamy potato bake with also has carrot as a layer, Potato Carrot and Onion Bake which my mam used to make when I was a child and I still make to this day.
This Creamy Potato and Bacon Bake sounds sings comfort food.  Right down to the last morish mouthful of soft potatoes mixed with bacon and onions enveloped in a thick creamy sauce this dish is a legend in it's own casserole dish. 

Creamy Potato and Bacon Bake

Serves: 8
ProPoints per serve: 5

cooking spray
175 grams Weight Watchers Bacon, diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 brown onion, diced
300 mls reduced fat thickened cream
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
60 grams grated reduced fat tasy cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook bacon for 2 - 3 minutes until slight crisp.  Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.

Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray.

Combine potatoes, onions and bacon in a large bowl.  Place mixture into casserole dish.

In a small jug combine cream, mustard, stock powder, thyme and pepper to taste.  Pour over potato mixture.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cover casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for a further 20 - 30 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and golden on top.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cheesy Jalepeno Poppers

My first experience with Poppers was in a restaruant called the Drunken Admiral where they are called "Depth Chargers" on the menu. "Depth Chargers - guaranteed to kill all your seamen! Fresh fat chillies, seeded, filled with garlic n' herb cheese, crispy fried with a sticky blackberry dip" I was in heaven and have to say these are ordered everytime I dine there.

Jalepeno poppers would have to be one of my favourite yet guilty pleasures - the ultimate party food, entree or even sneaky snack. There are so many variations for these little tasty morsels - some are battered and deep fried, some have various fillings but this recipe is what I consider to be the ultimate flavour combination.

The three cheeses mixed together with a hint of garlic and chilli enveloped in a fresh softened jalepeno which is baked not fried so has a clean crisp flavour without all the grease.

Definitely a brilliant flavour explosion for your tastebuds.... if you haven't tried one I am sure you will be surpised... not only are these quick and easy to make but these little poppers do pack a punch!!

Cheesy Jalepeno Poppers
Serves: 6 (2 poppers)
ProPoints per serve: 3 
cooking spray
250 grams Weight Watchers bacon cut into strips
115 grams reduced fat cream cheese, softened
60 grams grated 50% reducted fat tasty cheese
60 grams grated Colby cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
freshly ground black pepper
6 larg fresh jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook bacon over medium-high heat until crispy.

In a large bowl, combine the bacon, cheeses, salt, garlic powder, chilli powder and black pepper, mixing well.

Spoon about 2 tablespoonfuls into each pepper half.   Roll gently in bread crumbs.

Place on a prepared baking tray. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes for spicy flavor, 25 minutes for medium and 35 minutes for mild.

Serve immediately.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)